Forward with the goat

08-02-2018

Popular sayings should not be translated, they should stay endemic to their original language, unexposed to misinterpretations. Except for Dutch sayings, those are too good.

‘We will get the piglet washed’ – rightfully so. ‘I shall let them smell a poopy’ – that will teach the bastards. This tastes ‘like an angel pissing in my mouth’ – congratulations to the chef, I guess. And of course ‘forward with the goat!’ – the noblest of steeds. I find that last one inspiring. Sleeves rolled-up, chin high and on my goat I go. The second semester awaits.

This time, I am taking a closer look at the credits given to each course, I never questioned, nor was I told, the meaning of the credit system of the university I attended in Mexico. Here we have the ECTS, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, studiepunten in Dutch. It provides a way to compare the volume of learning and the workload expected for a course. These numbers tell how many hours of self-study one should put per week; they tell right there and upfront what is needed to pass the course. The difference in credits makes it easier to spot the tough courses and together with the course info available online, you may get an impression of the course style before even starting. This information helps create a study schedule to prioritise work between courses.

In The Netherlands, the standard value for a credit point is 28 hours, so a course that gives 2 EC would require 56 hours of work in total. And a course that weighs 4 EC would be equivalent to a 112-hour workload. In the latter example, assuming it takes twenty hours to study for the final exam, what is left is 92 hours of regular work to be distributed in eight weeks. About 12 hours per week. And give-or-take, 4 of those hours would correspond to the lectures, and the rest would correspond to the time the student works on his own. To show perspective, the amount of hours of self-study per week for this course would be like watching the film Call me by your name twice – But with half the emotional pain.

I like finding new spaces to study and read around campus, and one day I ended up in the recently furnished Nijmegen School of Management. Radboud colours were everywhere and obviously everything looked, smelled, and felt new. But personally, If the new TVA buildings are going to be anything like the buildings over there, I will be dissatisfied.

I do not know what the ongoing plan is, but so far I have seen countless trees put down on the sides of Thomas Van Aquinostraat. Nijmegen is the green city and they are putting the green away. On top of that, the demolition has brought casualties.

No bueno.

1 Comment

  1. Antonia wrote on 15 februari 2018 at 10:10

    I would honestly rather watch Call Me by Your Name twice a DAY (with all the emotional pain) than seeing another lecture slide this week. At least there’s Timothée Chalamet and Sufjan Stevens’ music in Call Me by Your Name (something not true for my Statistics course, unfortunately). However, I totally agree with your point: it sometimes really does get busy in the study schedule. But don’t worry, there will come times with less credit-crowded courses!

    Loved your blog xx

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